At Wimbledon, Players Must Deal With the Challenge of Grass

Fewer and fewer events are held on that surface. It can be tricky, and injuries are common.

For Debbie Jevans, a seat on Centre Court at Wimbledon requires no more than a left turn out of her office, then a right turn past the trophies honoring past champions. A few short steps further, the same steps taken by the competitors on finals day, and Jevans finds herself on hallowed grass.

“Centre Court is such a special place,” said Jevans, the first female chair of the All England Club, by video call last month. “The court is pristine, the flowers look amazing, the overviews of St. Mary’s Church in the background. I feel an enormous sense of pride and thanks to the hundreds of people who have got us to this point.”

Seeing the elegance and lush lawns on opening day at Wimbledon is, for players and fans, like stepping back in time. One of the biggest reasons is because professional play on grass is as elusive as a Wimbledon title itself.

Wimbledon groundskeepers work most of the year to maintain the rye grass courts, which allows the ground underneath to remain dry and firm.Jane Stockdale for The New York Times

Iga Swiatek has played 23 WTA grass-court singles matches out of almost 400 total in her career. Swiatek, the world No. 1, has not advanced beyond the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

Jannik Sinner, the newly named world No. 1 in men’s tennis, enters Wimbledon having played just one ATP grass-court tournament this year — which he won over Hubert Hurkacz in Halle, Germany, on June 23 — and only nine in his career. One of those matches was a five-set Wimbledon quarterfinal loss to Novak Djokovic in 2022.

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Source: Tennis -


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